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Passaic County Men Charged Federally In Hawthorne Bank Robbery

Robert Somers, Alejandro Ortiz
Robert Somers, Alejandro Ortiz Photo Credit: IMAGES: Courtesy HAWTHORNE PD

HAWTHORNE, N.J. – Two Passaic County men who were charged federally in the February holdup of a Hawthorne bank had court appearances over the past week and a half.

Alejandro Ortiz, 20, of Haskell, who was brought to U.S. District Court in Newark on Friday, is accused of being the getaway driver in the Feb. 17 TD Bank branch robbery, which federal authorities said was committed by Robert Somers, 44, of Little Falls.

Somers, who was brought before a judge on Aug. 26, was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, gloves, dark pants and a hat with a red stripe while holding a newspaper over the bottom half of his face during the holdup, U.S. Attorney Paul S. Fishman said.

Fishman said Somers handed a teller a note “that read, in sum and substance, ‘this is a hold up,’ and made similar verbal statements.”

After the teller handed him some cash, Somers “demanded more money and a second teller handed him additional cash,” the U.S. Attorney said.

He then ran out and hopped into a car driven by Ortiz, he said.

Police pulled Ortiz over later that day and arrested him. In his car were the clothes that Somers had worn during the robbery, Fishman said.

The U.S. Attorney credited special agents of the FBI, along with Hawthorne police, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office and Pennsylvania State Police for their work on the case.

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